ROMBALDS Radio which was founded during lockdown in 2020 by Silsden resident Stuart Clarkson and Ilkley's Nick Babb has announced a new partnership and plans to expand to broadcast on DAB.

The new partnership is with multi-platform brand Your Harrogate. It will continue to deliver local news and information across its website and radio station and offer more promotional opportunities to businesses across Skipton, Ilkley and Keighley, with the team from Your Harrogate providing business development and advertising sales expertise. 

Your Harrogate, which also launched in 2020, was set up by former Stray FM breakfast show presenter Nick Hancock and colleague Adam Daniel.

As part of the changes to take effect from November 1, Stuart and Nick will head up content and programmes, while Your Harrogate oversees strategy and the station’s offer to local businesses in the Aire and Wharfe Valleys. Programmes will continue to be produced and presented from the Rombalds Radio presenters’ home studios.

Nick said: “Over the past three years we’ve seen our ‘lockdown project’ grow into a well-respected local commercial radio station with a strong focus on Ilkley, Skipton and Keighley.

“Our listener base is growing and we’ve been getting out and about at events such as the Christmas Light Switch-Ons, Ilkley Carnival, Skipton Sheep Day and more. That will continue.”

Listeners will soon be able to tune in to local services via digital radio after media regulator Ofcom announced last week that a new ‘small-scale’ DAB multiplex licence will finally be available to apply for in early 2024.

Earlier this year Nick and Stuart were invited to a Local Media Champions reception at 10 Downing Street, hosted by Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, where they put forward the case for bringing digital radio to the Aire and Wharfe valleys.

Stuart added: “Our plan from the start has been to be available on DAB. The business is ready to grow to the next level - but we felt we needed to bring in some expertise that we just don’t have.

“The team at Your Harrogate have a brilliant radio and online product - and do many things that we’ve not been able to offer to businesses in our area because of limited resources. This deal will ensure the continuation of local programmes and content while preparing the station we created from scratch to be an even bigger success in the future.”

Adam, who is group commercial director at Your Harrogate, said: “We’re excited to acquire Rombalds Radio and we can’t wait to start working with all the brilliant businesses across Skipton, Ilkley and Keighley."